Pumpkin Almond Cookies for Halloween or Thanksgiving are the perfect way to celebrate fall. These adorable cookies are super delicious and fun. When it comes to Halloween, my boys have always preferred gory over cute. Not me. I love cute! Gory and scary . . . not so much. And how cute are these Pumpkin Almond Cookies!? For me this holiday is simply a fun part of fall — it’s harvest time, it’s pumpkin time. It’s time to make Halloween cookies. And Thanksgiving cookies!
What’s in these adorable Pumpkin Almond Cookies?
- powdered sugar
- pumpkin purée
- almond meal
- cinnamon and allspice
- all-purpose flour and salt
- annatto seed oil or orange food coloring for extra color (optional) — Here’s more information about annatto seed oil.
Tips for Making Pumpkin Almond Cookies
- Sift the powdered sugar! Otherwise the dough might be lumpy.
- When you shape the dough, be sure they are totally round, like small golf balls. Do this between the palms of your hands to create a smooth, even surface.
Do not skip the step of refrigerating the shaped cookie dough. I suggest a minimum of three hours, but the longer the better. This will be helpful when you make faint lines in them, to make them look like pumpkins.
You’ll use the dull side of a small knife to make several vertical lines around each ball of dough. Be sure to be very gentle when doing this — only a small amount of pressure is necessary.
- I say to bake until “solid.” This means the cookies should look dry and not be doughy to the touch.
- It’s important to let them cool completely on the baking sheets or they might still be too soft inside.
- It’s important to insert the pumpkin “stems” (the sliced almond) while the cookies are still quite warm. I love the end slices with the skin still intact because they more closely resemble an actual stem — however, any almond slice will do.
- Do not attempt to bake them with the almond slices. They will burn!
- If you can’t get your hands on the Honey Roasted Almonds Slices, the regular slices will still be delicious.
- If you’re storing them for a couple of days (see below), do not wrap them until they’re completely cooled to room temperature.
These Halloween or Thanksgiving cookies are lovely for any occasion during the fall season. I love bringing a bundle of these in a basket with a pretty cloth napkin, to any get together I’m invited to this time of year.
I’m calling them cookies for Thanksgiving also, because pumpkin season doesn’t end with Halloween. Nope, it carries on through November. And I’m telling you, your Thanksgiving host will love being the recipient of these tasty cuties.
Can you make them ahead?
Yes. You can make them up to two days ahead, keeping them in a single layer in a tightly sealed container. For large amounts, you can store them in a single layer on a sheet pan, wrapped in foil. You can also freeze them for up to two weeks, again in a single layer and tightly sealed. Both of these methods will be fine — however, I think they’re at their best when made just one day ahead.
Here are a couple more “cute” Halloween treats:
I hope you love these Pumpkin Almond Cookies as much as I do!
Pumpkin Almond Cookies Reicpe
*Makes about 4 1/2 dozen
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 1/4 cup pumpkin purée
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1- /4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- a drop of annatto seed oil or orange food coloring if desired
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- about 1/3 cup Honey Roasted Almond Slices
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter with the powdered sugar. Mix for about a minute or so, until it's a bit lighter and very smooth.
- Add in the pumpkin, vanilla, almond meal, salt, and spices. Mix until smooth. At this point, you can add a a drop or so of annato seed oil or orange food coloring if desired. (I used about a very tiny bit of coloring for the cookies in the images you see here, just to brighten them slightly.)
- Fold in the flour and mix only until it's evenly incorporated.
- Shape dough into approximately 1-1/2 tablespoon-sized balls. Gently roll each one between the palms of your hands to create a smooth, even surface. Place them on one of the prepared baking sheets as you go, fairly close together. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the cookie batter balls are firm, at least 3 hours, and ideally overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Remove the the baking sheet from the refrigerator and then use the back of a paring knife to make several vertical lines around each ball of dough, all coming together at the top center. Add them to the other prepared baking sheet as you go, being sure there's at least an inch between each one.
- Bake in the preheated 350°F oven until bottoms are slightly golden and the cookies are solid, about 15 minutes.
- While the cookies are still quite warm, insert a few of the sliced almonds to the top of each "pumpkin," where the lines meet, to form the "stem." Try to find slices with the almond skin for the outsides of the stems.
- Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheets.
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